The three muskateers

Photos: Brian Carlin / Artemis Offshore Academy
Repeat customers Sam Goodchild, Nick Cherry and Henry Bomby look forward to La Solitaire du Figaro
Britain has its largest ever entry in this weekend's Solitaire du Figaro. The sole non-French entries this year are the five from the UK, plus lone Irishman Dave Kenefick. Three – Nick Cherry, Henry Bomby and Sam Goodchild - are back again having competed in 2012, and of these Goodchild, the original Artemis Offshore Academy scholarship winner, is back for a third crack. For Bomby and Goodchild in particular their Figaro campaigns this season have taken a different complexion. Cut loose from the Artemis Offshore Academy, they have had to fend for themselves in mounting their campaigns (although they do still get considerable help from the Edinburgh and London-based investment company). They have had to find their own boats – Sam Goodchild’s was formerly campaigned by top Portugese sailor Francisco Lobato, while Henry Bomby has himself a former race winner, chartered from Charles Caudrelier. And they have had to spend much more time pounding on boardroom doors rather than what they would obviously prefer to be doing – racing. In their fund raising efforts the two skippers have had mixed results. Bomby has managed to get support from celebrity chef Mitch Tonks, who is fronting Rockfish, a new chain of ‘seafood and chips’ restaurants in the West Country. “He has been a supporter of mine before, back when I sailed singlehanded around Britain in 2010 when I left school,” says Bomby. “They are opening up a new restaurant in Plymouth, which will be their flagship restaurant by the Aquarium as you come into Sutton Harbour. They were originally going to be a title sponsor for me in the Fastnet race, but I managed to twist their arm to get them to give a bit more for this as well. Most of our activation will be when the boat gets back to the southwest.” Goodchild has managed